Libya pays $1.5 billion into US fund for terror victims
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Libya has paid $1.5 billion into a fund for victims of terrorism, the US State Department said on Friday. The fund was agreed in August and covers victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The United States said Friday it has received 1.5 billion dollars from Libya, the entire sum required to compensate the families of victims of terrorist attacks.
"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certified to Congress that the United States has received 1.5 billion dollars pursuant to the US-Libya Claims Settlement Agreement," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.
President George W. Bush meanwhile issued an order to carry out the agreement, which meets US requirements for compensating the victims, and the way is now clear for the families to receive the money, he said.
The Bush administration will "now move expeditiously to arrange for distribution of these funds in lieu of the pending US court cases against Libya," his statement said.
The sum is to compensate US and other families for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people, and for US families of a Berlin disco bombing that killed two Americans and hurt 50 others.
On August 14, Libya and the United States signed the compensation deal in Tripoli for victims of Libyan attacks and Libyan victims of US reprisals, paving the way for full normalization of ties between the two countries.
Under the deal, a US-Libya fund of 1.8 billion dollars was set up, with 1.5 billion dollars for Americans and 300 million dollars for Libyans.
State Department officials said the families of non-American victims of the Pan Am bombing are covered by the 1.5 billion dollars.
The deal prompted a visit to Tripoli in September by Rice, who became the first US secretary of state to visit Libya in more than 50 years. Other diplomatic steps are expected to follow.
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